IOC pres­i­dent says he is con­fi­dent about Cy­press snow

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

VAN­COU­VER (CP) — IOC pres­i­dent Jac­ques Rogge has dis­missed con­cerns about snow con­di­tions at Cy­press Moun­tain, site of the snow­board­ing and freestyle ski­ing at the Van­cou­ver Olympics.

“ We have ab­so­lutely no con­cern what­so­ever. Our tech­ni­cians, to­gether with the tech­ni­cians of the In­ter­na­tional Ski Fed­er­a­tion, went and had a look there. We had a good meet­ing this morn­ing with the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee,” Rogge told a news con­fer­ence Mon­day. “ There is no con­cern and there is no Plan B.”

With Mother Na­ture not co­op­er­at­ing, Olympic or­ga­niz­ers have turned to their chem­istry set to keep things frosty at Cy­press.

Tubes filled with dry ice have been placed in the moguls and the aeri­als course on Cy­press Moun­tain, in West Van­cou­ver, to keep snow from break­ing down. Pumped full of dry ice and frozen for 12 hours, the cold per­me­ates the snow around it.

The weather at the freestyle ski­ing and snow­board­ing venue re­mained front and cen­tre Mon­day in the buildup to Fri­day’s open­ing of the Games.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada

says highs will hover around 3 C this week at Cy­press, lead­ing up to the first day of com­pe­ti­tion Satur­day, when there is a 60 per cent chance of rain on the moun­tain on metro Van­cou­ver’s North Shore re­gion.

Rogge was asked about global warm­ing at his news con­fer­ence Mon­day.

“Global warm­ing is, of course, some­thing that is wor­ry­ing the en­tire world on a big range of is­sues,” he said. “It might af­fect in the long-term the stag­ing of ( fu­ture) Win­ter Games. But I can tell you al­ready in the ques­tions of the (IOC) Eval­u­a­tion Com­mis­sion, we . . . ask for statis­tics that are very clear. We want to know what the nor­mal snow con­di­tions are in a par­tic­u­lar re­sort. Of course this is not a guar­an­tee for the fu­ture. It’s like in bank­ing, the per­for­mance of the past is not a guar­an­tee for the per­for­mance of the fu­ture.”

He also cited “the im­prove­ment of ar­ti­fi­cial snow ma­chines and ev­ery­thing that is put in place in Cy­press Moun­tain to al­le­vi­ate changes in me­te­o­rol­ogy.”

Like a team of sur­geons work­ing over an ail­ing pa­tient, heli­cop- ters have been drop­ping snow while trucks have been mov­ing snow up and down the moun­tain to pre­pare the site for train­ing and the first day of freestyle ski­ing Satur­day, when Jen­nifer Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta., will at­tempt to de­fend her ti­tle in women’s moguls.

Weather is­sues at Win­ter Games are noth­ing new. But Van­cou­ver or­ga­niz­ers did pro­vide the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee with an up­date on Cy­press in their fi­nal brief­ing be­fore the Games start.

“ They asked us about Cy­press, they asked us about the trans­porta­tion plan to Whistler, I think they asked us about po­ten­tial protest ac­tiv­ity, and that was pretty well it,” Dave Cobb, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of the Van­cou­ver Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee, told re­porters. “ We only had three or four ques­tions and again, they are quite pleased with where we are.”

Cobb said Cy­press venue work­ers “are work­ing 24 hours a day and they know the world is watch­ing them and they are not pre­pared to fail, so we think we’ll have fields of play that are of an Olympic stan­dard but there is still work to do over the next few days to get it ready but we are very con­fi­dent that we will be ready.”

Venue of­fi­cials have re­duced train­ing time at Cy­press to help pre­serve the snow, al­though ath- letes were al­lowed back on the hill Mon­day. Me­dia, how­ever, were not.

“I think it’s quite sim­ple,” said Cobb. “ There’s here’s still a lot of work go­ing on in the moun­tain, there’s still snow be­ing trucked in and flown in to en­sure we have enough con­tin­gency snow if the warm weather con­tin­ues, so there’s a lot of ac­tiv­ity go­ing on so for safety rea­sons and our de­sire not to have any of the course prepa­ra­tion work im­pacted, we de­cided just to let on the peo­ple that are ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary for the train­ing, which is the ath­letes and the coach­ing staff, we’ll give the team one more day to get a lot of their work done and then the plan is to have the me­dia up at the moun­tain to­mor­row (Tues­day).”

As the is­sue of pos­si­ble protests Fri­day, IOC mem­ber Ger­hard Heiberg said: “ We have to ac­cept protests, and there will be some and fine, let’s leave it, we are used to that.

“I knew that on my time with the eval­u­a­tion com­mis­sion that there are some groups op­posed to the Games here, that’s nor­mal so we don’t see any­thing spe­cial in that.”

The Cana­dian Press

IOC Pres­i­dent Jac­ques Rogge re­sponds to a ques­tion dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Mon­day, at the 2010 Van­cou­ver Olympic Win­ter Games in Van­cou­ver.

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